Name of intern: Yusuke Ishikawa
CEU department and program: Department of Political Science, One-year MA program
Year of graduation: 2020
Name of internship host organization: Transparency International Hungary
Role: Research Intern (remote internship)
What did you do during your internship? Can you describe a typical day at work?
Based on my previous short working experience as a part-time consultant at Transparency International Defence & Security in the UK, I simplified and adapted Transparency International Hungary’s index (Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index) to include nine major banks in Hungary. I analyzed these nine companies based on the index and, additionally, conducted online interviews with two main banks. As a result of the research, I wrote an 87- page report entitled “Bank Transparency in Hungary: Transparency of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Money Laundering Policies, Investigations, Training, and Whistleblowing in Major Banks in Hungary”. The report and the summary were published on Transparency International Hungary’s website in December 2020.
My typical daily schedule and tasks depended on the stage of my research project. At the initial stage of my project, I spent most of the time learning about the bank sector and corruption in Hungary and adapting the Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index to the context of the bank sector in Hungary. At later stages of my project, since one of my biggest tasks was to score and evaluate bank transparency in Hungary, I spent most of my time on the task. Every week, I attended a 30- to 60- minute Zoom meeting with my supervisor. Occasionally, I also contacted compliance officers and experts in Transparency International Hungary to ask for interviews or to get advice.
How did the internship help you implement your previous experience and your knowledge gained at CEU?
Before coming to CEU, I studied corruption and governance at the University of Sussex and, during that MA program, I also worked as a part-time research intern in the UK. However, my host organization in the UK did not decide to publish the report I wrote as a result of the internship. This motivated me to seek a second opportunity to do a research internship with the goal of writing a high-quality report that would be published by the organization. In this sense, Transparency International Hungary provided me the best place to try again to write a research report and make use of my previous experience and very importantly the knowledge gained at CEU, including the methodological understanding and knowledge gathered while attending the courses such as Comparative European Politics, Comparative Case Study Research, and Corruption, Corruption Control and Governance.
What is your advice to current students who are thinking of doing an internship?
I would say, "Stay positive and never give up". When you apply for internship programs, you might get a lot of rejections and these rejections can sting a lot (or a bit at least). It might take a long time to get an internship position. But your previous experience and studies at CEU should help you to secure one sooner or later. Take every possible opportunity to meet people to get more information. Apply for as many internship programs that match your interests as possible. After getting an internship position, what’s important is to learn as much as possible from the internship host organization, to understand the expectations from the organization and adjust your research and work style, and to try to link the internship experience directly or indirectly to the future career plan.